|Posted by Matt Rury on December 16, 2009 at 11:26 AM|
Those of you that have been following our Power Rankings here at Gino's Jungle for the past couple of weeks know that I usually start out by giving you the top five of the current week from my favorite rankings over at ESPN.com. This week, in a shocking development, my top four matches their top four so I've decided to expand and just do a Top Ten of my own.
1. YOUR Boston Celtics (20-4) - The C's have ripped off 11 in a row and while some would contend that their opponents have not been stellar, eight of those wins have come on the road. Solid victories over Miami, San Antonio and the league's young guns (Oklahoma City and Memphis) coupled by the Lakers recent struggles lift the Celts to the top spot.
1a. Lakers (19-4) - I have a hard time putting a "2" in front of the Lakers because all along I've been saying that until they hit a major roadblock and stumble or the Celtics beat them they should be #1. Kobe's finger injury is certainly cause for concern but that loss @ Utah just didn't surprise me all that much. The champs are still the champs (unfortunately).
Magic (18-6) - Orlando handled Indiana at home on Monday night to get back in the win column and Vince Carter has been outstanding this season. Their performance on Thanksgiving still rings in my head and is what put them over the top of the next team on the list.
Hawks (17-6) - Yes, Atlanta has won four in a row. Yes, they are blowing teams out at a franchise record pace. I still can't put them ahead of a team that mopped the floor with them on their own court last month and has a better road record.
Mavericks (18-7) - This is where I start to differ with most of the rankings out there (besides Hardwood Houdini!) As stated last week, I've liked the Mavs since before the season started and have received much ridicule for it. At the moment they have won four in a row to sit atop their division and just got Josh Howard back into the rotation.
Nuggets (18-7) - Denver seems to have been flying under the radar a bit. They are 11-1 at home, but a mediocre 7-6 on the road. Carmelo Anthony is putting together what could be the best season of his career but the Nuggets still seem to be weak in their front-court.
Cavaliers (18-7) - Lebron & Friends are rolling again despite Shaquille O'Neal missing games here and there. With that being said, their supporting cast still doesn't impress me and I almost didn't even put them this high on the list.
Suns (17-8) - While their hot start has sort of gone by the wayside, the Suns have the luxury of a home-heavy stretch of schedule coming up. They started it off right by running San Antonio right out of the building last night and continue to play better than most people seemed to expect.
Jazz (14-10) - Don't let their record fool you, the Jazz have been playing great basketball of late. The beat San Antonio, Orlando and the Lakers last week and have won 10 of their last 14. They would be higher on this list if one of those losses was not to the lowly Minnesota Timberwolves this past Monday.
Rockets (14-10) - McGrady is back and Houston surprisingly doesn't have a problem. If T-Mac takes a slightly lesser role and lets Ariza, Brooks and Scola step up some more this team could go far. Last night's 11 point victory over Detroit lets them round out the top 10.
Check back next week to see if anything has changed!